Watcom C

From: John Wilson <wilson_at_dbit.dbit.com>
Date: Thu Apr 6 21:02:46 2000

On Thu, Apr 06, 2000 at 09:17:12PM -0400, Bill Pechter wrote:
> I've got an unused IBM OS/2 C compiler... also there's always GCC...
> What do you need...

The problem isn't so much generating code, as linking it into .DLL files.
I burned off a *lot* of brain cells writing a linking loader for Win16 "NE"
format .DLL files (ooh I hate Microsoft *SO MUCH*), and I'm really not excited
about the idea of starting from scratch and writing an ELF loader too, just
to use GCC output. Although in the long run that may be necessary. Anyway,
all of the good ol' LINK/TLINK/WLINK linkers from Win16 days will generate
these files OK, but normally they'll *also* link in a startup module which
makes a bunch of Win16 calls before calling the user's LibMain() routine.
Faking those Win16 entry points is a pain, but figuring out the undocumented
guts of the respective C libraries and writing a replacement startup module
for each one, just for running under E11, would be even more of a pain.

And even if I got that all done, I have no confidence that M$/Borland will
continue supporting the 16-bit .DLL formats indefinitely (if they still
do at all). Watcom's a lot nicer about not gratuitously axing old stuff,
well except for the compiler itself! And I just loved discovering that the
linker could generate ELF files using regular 80x86 .OBJ files as input, I
had actually started writing my own linker to solve that problem and it was
a real relief to be saved the trouble, I can't believe Watcom hardly even
admitted the feature was there though, I only found it in WLINK's built-in
help, I don't think it's in the manual or the on-line help.

> and have been hoping for the
> KL equivalent someday...

One of these days!

John Wilson
D Bit
Received on Thu Apr 06 2000 - 21:02:46 BST

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